"There is an easing (of prices) on profit-taking," said Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultancy Purvin and Gertz. "The easing is not unusual, considering the rather sharp gains following good macroeconomic news coming out of, on the one hand Europe, and some optimistic jobs data from the US," he told AFP.
Crude prices surged in New York trade Thursday after the European Central Bank announced measures to help cash-strapped banks in the eurozone under pressure from the public debt crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
In the United States, the world's largest economy and oil consumer, initial jobless claims for the week ending October 1 were better than expected, at 401,000. However, analysts expect oil prices to gyrate amid persistent worries over the global economy. "The economic outlook in Europe and US remains uncertain," Shum said.